Governors Island 2018
How to Get to Governors Island
Governors Island 2018 opens on May 1, and hosts events until October 31. The easiest way for you to access Governors Island is to take a ten-minute ferry that costs two dollars for a round-trip fare.
Most importantly, try to visit from May 1 to May 6, because on those dates ferries from Manhattan’s Battery Maritime Building and Brooklyn are freeto Governors Island. Also noteworthy, though ferries from Manhattan operate daily, the Brooklyn ferry only runs on Saturdays and Sundays.
What to do on Governors Island
Activities that may draw you to Governors Island include music festivals, performances, art exhibits, tours of historic forts, arts and crafts, storytelling, cultural events, and more.
Check out their website for a schedule of Governors Islands events. You can find a whirl of things to do including children’s creative play and educational camps. Plus two ball fields and a soccer field are available for pick up games, or you can reserve them in advance.
Other activities include four sliding boards, a maze, rock climbing, Citi Bike rentals, and a jogging or walking path. Also, if you would like to volunteer, you have a range of opportunities.
Island Oyster Restaurant and Food Trucks
Located on New York Harbor, the Island Oyster restaurant and bar makes you feel like you are dining on a tropical island. While you inhale the pungent harbor air, you can peruse the menu that lists a variety of oysters and lite fare menu selections including small plates, burgers, tacos, and more.
For other options, you can find food trucks, pop-ups, and beer gardens. Moreover, you may bring food and reserve a grill or picnic table, but you must purchase your alcohol on Governors Island.
What to do on Governors Island
If you’re not interested in entertainment, you can escape mass moving Manhattan to see something different, at your own pace.
If you choose a weekday without a Governors Island planned event, you can probably ride bikes without dodging people or vehicles. Plus, you can drift through paths lined with perennial gardens where golden rudbeckias, pink coneflowers, and mixed grasses sway. Additionally, you can see Manhattan’s skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and the Staten Island Ferry from a unique perspective.
Fort Jay and Castle Williams
Furthermore, see star-shaped Fort Jay and tour Castle Williams. Comparatively, while Fort Jay is star-shaped, Castle Williams is a circular fort that had imprisoned Confederate soldiers.
Don’t miss the hammocks, the longest slide in NYC, the view from The Hills, Cabin, Compost Learning Center, the Teaching Garden, Billion Oyster Project, and the junkyard adventure playground.
Adventure Playground NYC
The junkyard playground allows children six to twelve years old to build and experiment with scrap materials using hammers, nails, and saws, while supervisors watch and keep parents at bay. Boards, sheets, blankets, rubber tires, metal sheets, orange construction cones, wheels, and large plastic duct tubes–large enough to crawl through–are examples of the junk that litters the playground.
At the Adventure Playground NYC, children experiment with scrap materials and use their imagination to create unique structures.
Governors Island Camps
If you have children, check out the Governors Island camps. They can experience the environment and gardening through the Grow NYC Teaching Garden. Moreover, they will learn about the importance of composting at the Compost Learning Center.
Another option is to stop by the New York City Audubon nature center to discover unique facts about birds. Plus the Billion Oyster Project is an ecosystem education with the goal of continuing the restoration of the oyster population in the New York Harbor.
Governors Island is a Vacation from Manhattan
Governors Island is a beautiful diversion from busy Manhattan. There’s plenty to do for all ages.
Though if you are uninterested in scheduled events or crowds, you can unwind, exercise, and learn something new on less-busy days.
Furthermore, even if you love busy Manhattan, Governors Island offers breathing space. Cruising past the flower gardens and winding roads make you feel like you are in a country setting until you gaze across the New York Harbor at the Manhattan Skyline and the Staten Island Ferry. Though you are not far from the city, the New York ferry transports you literally and figuratively to a new world.
Citi Bike Tip
Most importantly, read the fine details if you rent a Citi Bike. Furthermore, ensure you return your Citi Bike on time and lock it in the bike rack.
We had a bad experience with Citi Bike. Though we returned our bikes on time and felt confident that we had locked them in, Citi Bike tried to charge us a $100 fee stating that we didn’t secure one of the bikes correctly, though we both heard it click when we pushed it in the rack.
When I had returned to my Manhattan hotel room, a Citi Bike agent contacted me and suggested that I return to Governors Island on the ferry, though the boat had stopped running for the day. He recommended that I relock my bike to avoid overage charges.
Unfortunately, this interaction with Citi Bike put a damper on our trip. Therefore my point is: Don’t let this happen to you!
Does Governors Island interest you? Are you more likely to visit during an event or when it’s less crowded?
What do you think about Citi Bike accusing us of not docking our bikes properly and attempting to charge us $100 overage fee?